Now that The Hunger Games has killed off the competition for spring box office, Hollywood is gearing up for summer. We’ll get the Batman finale, a Spiderman re-boot, new animated heroes from Pixar and Disney, and comedies from Will Ferrell, and Adam Sandler. Garen Daly is film consultant for Zeotrope Media is here to preview of some films that won’t break box office records.
Here at Word of Mouth, we frequently crack wise about bizarre stories by imitating that ubiquitous announcer voice from movie and video game trailers…the one who always beginning with “In a world where…"
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
After shooting in London, Barcelona and Paris, Woody Allen made his latest European backdrop Rome. To Rome With Love opens Friday in Italy — in Italian.
The movie is a magnificent postcard of the eternal city — a carefree romp along cobblestone streets nestled between ancient ruins and Renaissance palaces. A soft yellow glow pervades every scene. It projects an image of the sweet life with all the charms under the Italian sun, set to the tune of old standbys like "Volare" and "Arrivederci Roma."
Mohamed Fellag, an Algerian comedian and humor writer, plays the title character in the Oscar-nominated Monsieur Lazhar, who steps in to teach a class of middle school students at exactly the right time.
At the start of a bright, sunny day that seems otherwise like any other day, a popular teacher is found dead in her classroom. It was suicide.
The school is traumatized, especially that teacher's students. By the next day, the principal is at her wits' end trying to find someone willing to take the class. So when Bachir Lazhar (Mohamed Fellag) offers to teach, it comes at just the right moment.
Greta Gerwig, who stars in Whit Stillman's Damsels in Distress, has made a name in indie films like Greenberg with a style that stands out for its naturalism. In Damsels, she inhabits the role of Violet, a bright, sweet, sincere college girl as only a bright, sweet, sincere former college girl could.
Bill Duke knew he was going to get flak from a lot of people before he ever turned the cameras on to film Dark Girls, a new documentary about the painful encounters dark-skinned black women experience in a society where lighter is usually considered better.
It's a subject that has, more often than not, been considered taboo to discuss outside the black community. So Duke knew making a general-distribution movie about color prejudice within the black community was definitely going to rub some black folks the wrong way.
In Shanghai Calling, Chinese-American attorney Sam Chao (Daniel Henney) relocates from New York to Shanghai at the behest of his law firm. He develops a relationship with Amanda (Eliza Coupe), an expert on relocation and local customs and culture.
Credit Americatown, LLC
Alan Ruck plays Marcus Groff, a billionaire technology executive from Texas who travels to China in search of a new invention.
Credit Americatown, LLC
Director Daniel Hsia (right) talks with Henney on the set of Shanghai Calling.
A growing number of American professionals have moved to China in the last decade to ride the economic boom. While much of the news coming out of the country is serious stuff — political repression, trade disputes, tainted food — for American expatriates, day-to-day life in China can be chaotic, exciting and often funny.
Japan is home to Asia's oldest and largest motion-picture industry, with its own unique genres and traditions. While every film industry has stuntmen, only Japan has a class of actors whose main job is to be sliced and diced by samurai sword-wielding protagonists. But the decline of period dramas means that this class of actors is literally a dying breed.
Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 10:31 am
This summer, U.S. archer Khatuna Lorig hopes to return to the Olympic Games. But she's already helped put archery into The Hunger Games this spring — by training the film's star, Jennifer Lawrence, to shoot.
In the kill-or-be-killed competition in the film drawn from Suzanne Collins' book, Lawrence's character, Katniss Everdeen, relies on her ability with a bow. And Lorig worked with the actress to ensure she had proper form.
October Baby tells the story of 19-year-old Hannah, a first-year college student, who leaves home on a search for her birth mother. In many ways, it's a Hollywood-style road trip movie dealing with questions of identity, but at the movie's core is also a vigorous message about abortion.
In one scene, Hannah tracks down a nurse who worked at the health clinic where her birth mother had sought an abortion — one that failed when Hannah was born prematurely.
Hollywood is dominated at the moment by the upcoming release of The Hunger Games, the first film adaptation of a phenomenally successful series of young adult novels set in a dystopian, divided America, where teenagers from different regions are pitted against each other for survival.
21 Jump Street sits atop the box office this week. It is a reboot of the late 1980's television hit about cops going undercover in high schools. Turns out there are real-life police officers on the high school hallway beat, and, as Slate reporter Will Oremusuncovered, there are specific strategies these fre